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On Sunday, the Brooklyn Nets signed Jason Collins to a 10-day contract, making him the first openly gay NBA player in the league’s history. He made his debut in the black-and-white Nets uniform that night, playing in the team’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
As previously reported, Collins became the first openly gay athlete to play for any of the four major sports leagues in North America. Although Collins came out as gay in Sports Illustrated back in April 2013, he did not have a contract at the time.
Now he has one and the 35-year-old center finally got some playing time. According to CBS Sports, Collins played 10 and a half minutes in the game against the Lakers. It was his first playing time since April 17, 2013, when he was with the Washington Wizards. The Nets ended up winning the game 108-102, snapping an 11-game losing streak against the Lakers.
The New York Daily News reports that Collins got a round of applause from the Staples Center crowd. As for Collins, he was just excited to be back playing.
“I played for 12 years in this league so I know how to play basketball,” Collins said. “It’s just about getting my timing back. So I’m ready. Let’s do it.”
Collins spent six seasons with the Nets when the team was in New Jersey, playing in the 2002 and 2003 NBA Finals.
image courtesy of Sports Illustrated